Troopers identify 3 killed in Wake County wreck; 1 was East Wake HS student

State troopers have released the names of three teens, including an East Wake High School student, who died in a wreck early Sunday on Buffaloe Road in Wake County.

Erick Avila, 18, the student, lived in Wendell and was riding in the back seat of a Mazda sedan that crashed with a Ford SUV shortly before 2 a.m., the State Highway Patrol said.

Carlos Gomez, 19, the driver, and Juan Gomez, 17, a front-seat passenger, also were killed by the crash. Both were from Louisburg, troopers said. The Gomezes lived at the same address, troopers said, but they did not say how they were related.

Speed was a factor in the crash, and Juan Gomez and Avila were not wearing seat belts, troopers said. They said they did not yet know if alcohol was involved.

Rebecca Whitt, 28, of Willow Spring was driving the SUV and received non-life-threatening injuries, the highway patrol said. She and a 5-year-old child were taken to WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh.

Troopers determined that the Mazda crossed the center line of Buffaloe Road near Forestville Road before striking the left-front of the SUV.

Stacey Alston, principal of East Wake High School sent a message to parents Sunday night telling them that one of the dead was a student there.

“I want to provide you with an opportunity to share this news with your son or daughter this evening so they may have time to process the information before exams tomorrow,” Alston said in a letter included in a Facebook post.

Counselers were being brought to the school Monday, Alston said.

“Please keep Erick Avila and his family in your thoughts and prayers,” the message said.

Ron Gallagher: 919-829-4572, @RPGKT